When you run a small business, promoting it is critical to staying around for the long haul.

As too many small business owners have discovered over time, the lack of properly marketing their brand can be a nail in the coffin when it comes to success or hanging up the “closed” sign.

So, how are you going about promoting your business in 2016 and hopefully beyond?

Sign-on to Better Promotions

There are myriad of ways small businesses can spread the word about the products and/or services they offer.

With that in mind, remember these tidbits when you go about promoting your brand:

  1. Word-of-mouth – One of the best ways to get your message out there is through current customers, notably happy ones. By having your clients talk about your business to their families, friends, co-workers etc. you are essentially getting free advertising in return. Of course keeping your customers happy, most notably through stellar customer service, will go far in having them talk about your brand. Handing out business cards, encouraging happy customers to talk about your business on social media etc. are two great means of alerting consumers to all you have to offer;
  2. Signage – Another great way to get the word out there is via signage. Whether you go with LED sign options such as Megasign or other choices, you greatly increase the odds of people finding your business. Such Light Emitting Diode (LED) signs are great advertisements in that they help put your brand out in front of the public 24/7. Your signage allows you to have custom content and design services focused on your brand and the audience you’re trying to attract. Lastly, the right signage is going to show up in front of countless eyes, many of whom may not have heard of your brand before;
  3. Traditional marketing – Whether you turn to the older schools of marketing like flyers, pamphlets, business cards or email marketing, or opt for newer modes of brand promotion such as mobile marketing, there are many opportunities to get your brand the notice it needs and deserves. While you likely have the routine down when it comes to distributing business cards, flyers, pamphlets and even email marketing, take note that mobile marketing needs a little more attention to detail. The biggest factor here is making sure you have a consumer’s approval before using the mobile option. Flooding a prospective consumer with mobile marketing messages is not only careless, but also could put your brand in a bad light. When you have the consumer’s approval to market to them via mobile means, make sure you let them know about any specials, deals etc. that are currently available or coming soon. Finally, don’t opt for mobile marketing unless you are 100 percent positive that you have a mobile-friendly site. If consumers have issues when trying to view your site, they are likely to not come back after an initial visit;
  4. Social media – Lastly, how social are you with your small business brand? It is more important than ever that your social networking needs and efforts are being met on a regular basis. In order for that to happen, make sure you are socially active on sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for starters. In terms of active, this doesn’t mean occasionally stopping by for a share, post, tweet etc. In order to build-up a regular social following, you need to continuously post. Finally, never engage in negative social banter with consumers, even if you think you’re in the right. The public relations fallout from such social discussions can prove very damaging to your brand.

With 2016 off and running, will your small business get the attention it deserves over the next 12 months?

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers small business marketing topics on the web.